We examined factors associated with and reasons for perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 among urban and rural adults in Alabama . We surveyed 575 eligible participants' engagement in preventive behaviors, concern about COVID-19 in their communities, perceived susceptibility to the virus, and reasons for susceptibility across three response options (Yes, No, and Don't Know/Not Sure). Bivariate analyses compared characteristics by level of perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 . A multinomial logistic regression model evaluated the association of demographics, health insurance coverage, and chronic illness status with perceived susceptibility . Participants' race, gender, and educational attainment were significantly associated with perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 . African Americans and males had higher odds of responding 'No', compared to 'Yes' and 'Don't Know/Not Sure' than Whites and females . Participants with a high school education and lower had higher odds of responding 'Don't Know/Not Sure' versus 'Yes' compared to those with college or higher education . Those unconcerned about COVID-19 in their community had higher odds of responding 'No' (OR = 2.51, CI 1.35-4.68) and 'Don't Know/Not Sure' (OR = 2.51, CI 1.26-4.99) versus 'Yes', as compared to those who were concerned . Possibility of exposure at work was the most frequent reasons for perceiving themselves susceptible to COVID-19, engagement in recommended preventive measures was the most frequent reason among respondents who indicated 'No', and uncertainty/perception that everyone is at risk was the most frequent reason among the ones who indicated 'Don't Know/Not Sure' . Results indicate that tailored efforts to heighten perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 among specific demographics are needed.
Index: COVID-19 susceptibility, Health Belief Model, Minority health, Perceived susceptibility